Alumnus Dicker sees future full of digital storytellers

Colorado native Brennen Dicker ՚91 never thought he would like living in Iowa, but that was before he came to live on the Hilltop at Cornell College. 

“I was wrong,” Dicker says. “There is something very special about spending a couple years on the Hilltop.” 

He advises students considering Cornell who may not be sure if they will like Iowa to remember his story and how he grew to love life on the Hilltop. For Dicker, a big part of that love stemmed from Cornell’s community, which he found to be a supportive environment. He says he ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the same group of friends for close to four years and found a home away from home with his softball team, which he credits for changing his life for the better. 

“I never regret the time I spent at Cornell,” he says. “It helped shape who I am today because of the community, which included friends, professors, and staff at Cornell.”

Dicker counts co-directing the (then) annual Shakespeare play as his number one biggest achievement while at Cornell. He majored in English and theatre with a minor in economics

“It probably taught me more about life than any other class,” he says. “This was all in part because of Professor [of English Stephen] Lacey. One of the best professors at Cornell—a legend.”

Dicker took his creative directorial skills and turned them into a career. He is the executive director of The Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII) for Georgia State University. Dicker sees CMII creating the next generation of digital storytellers through emerging technologies with augmented reality, virtual reality, gaming, music, and media. 

“There are approximately 550 students that are majoring in media entrepreneurship and game design at the Institute, and we look forward to growing and becoming a thought leader in entertainment over the next decade,” Dicker says. 

Before Dicker’s leadership role at CMII, he held positions with both Crawford Media Services and SIM International in post-production services, where he worked with networks—such as National Geographic, HGTV, and Discovery—and on series such as “The Walking Dead,” “Vampire Diaries,” “Stranger Things,” “Watchmen,” “The Gifted,” “Dynasty,” “Good Girls,” “True Detective,” and “Get Out.” 

After Cornell, Dicker moved to Chicago, where he worked at SportsChannel Chicago and produced for PBS. He also created his own production company called American Mongrel Productions which made commercials and educational videos. 

You might wonder how Dicker’s educational journey at Cornell helped him build up such an impressive resume of accomplishments. 

One Course At A Time prepared me through focusing on a goal, and not procrastinating,” he says. “Well, procrastinating a little, but really pushing through and completing goals.”

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